Friday, October 9, 2009

How Fast?

How fast should I be progressing?

When do I not have an excuse anymore for my sloppy guard passes, poor base, non-tight position holds and crappy submission attempts? I've been taking Jiu-jitsu only two months. That's what everyone says. But when will my status as a beginner no longer cover over the fact that I'm not very good.

I'm not good yet. In five or six years, I hope I will be able to say that I am good at Jiu-jitsu. Right now, I feel like I know the very basics and that, in a real street fight, I might be able to defend myself enough to get away. But against other people who know Jiu-jitsu? Even against other white belts who have been taking class about six or seven months or more? They all own me.

Phil, one of my good friends that I practice with all the time, has only been taking class a little longer than Steph and I. Now, granted, he does outweigh me by a lot. Almost 80 lbs. But he is better than me not just because he outweighs me, but because he is picking up the technique faster than me.

I think he is better at just using his whole body on a person. He keeps his weight on them while he's passing from one position to the next. I leave too much space. That's what the higher belts were telling me at yesterdays practice. I leave too much space.

So I need to tighten up. But more than that, I just need to lighten up. I know I am being a perfectionist. I want to be good NOW but getting good takes time. So I need to just relax (how many times have I said that in this blog?) and just try to learn and grow.

On the positive side, I am noticing that my defense is getting better. It pretty much has to since everyone that I roll with at Fabios is better than me. But I desperately need to work on sweeps. I've been saying that for a while and haven't gotten any better at it.

Ok. I just posted this blog and then scrolled down. Two posts ago, I was talking about how I just got a stripe and now I am complaining about not being good enough. One stripe isn't amazing, but it shows I am making progress. So STOP COMPLAINING ALLIE!



Georgette said...

It astonishes me to learn that black belts feel the same way I do, which is the same way you do... geez, when am I going to feel like I know anything about jits? From what I'm told, you will *never* feel like you're good, or have learned something sufficiently. As soon as you learn an answer, the question will change. *sigh* It's great and it sucks at the same time :) I will say it's taken me a full year to be able to beat a male whitebelt and even that's not a walk in the park... I have to work for it and I bemoan my sloppiness just the same.

slideyfoot said...

In BJJ, progress is slow. Accept it.

There is only one sensible comparison you should be making when judging your BJJ: you. In other words, how would the you of today do against the you of several weeks/months/years ago?

Don't worry about how Phil is progressing, worry about Allie! ;)

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks guys. And you are right. I need to stop complaining and just focus on learning. It's encouaging to hear that I'm not the only one who feels this way every now and then. :)

Dev said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Georgette and Slidey. I understand the desire to compare your progress with someone who came in with you or before you - it's natural. What I think you'll find is that everyone is discovering their strengths and weaknesses right now, and, quite honestly, that just takes time. I came in with a couple guys, and because I focused on strength and speed, I tended to do a little better at first, but about 6 months in, their determination on the technique side caused them to leap forward, whereas I sort of plateaued. It's a balance, and I think everyone would agree that technique - CORRECT technique - is the most important thing you can work on right now. It sucks, for sure, to see Phil, or whoever, pick things up quicker. But in 3 or 6 months when he's trying to get out of your triangle - because you worked it consistently and intentionally - it'll be a different story entirely. AND you'll have some more defense against whatever it is that he's working on. Trust me, it'll come around.

Competitions are great because it's a good opportunity to compare your skills against equivalent people in other schools. Remember, though, that people can be white belts for 2-3 YEARS. Yeah, they're white belts, but you can't help but absorb some more technique during that time. My thought process on white belts in tournaments is that they all basically have one thing they're really good at, and if you can defend against that, it's a free-for-all. The trick is getting your defense up against a variety of techniques. I really recommend Saulo Ribeiro's book for the concept of defense - just read the white belt section.

Good luck! And Slidey's exactly right, as usual - don't worry about Phil, worry about Allie. It'll take time, but your technique will win out.